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Berkshire Threaded Fasteners Company

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Berkshire Threaded Fasteners Company

This analysis examines the income and cost information presented by Berkshire Threaded Fasteners Company from historical and projected perspectives to justify two major decisions: withdrawal of a product line, and reduction of the selling price of another. Furthermore, these decisions will lead into suggestions about the overall strategic approach of the firm.

At the beginning of 1974, Berkshire leadership advocates withdrawal of the 300 Series product line. First glance at the income statement for the period ending December 31, 1973 appears to reveal that production of the 300 Series causes substantial overall losses to the firm. However, this is a relevant cost decision. Exhbit 1 illustrates that the withdrawal of the 300 Series product line will affect labor, raw materials, power, and repairs. It will have no affect upon the other costs as they are either allocated across the three product lines or historical costs with no relevance. The result based upon period-end numbers for 1973 would project an operating income loss of $1.145 million. To withdraw the 300 Series would be a poor decision.

As the profit and loss statement for June 30, 1974 indicates, the reduction of the unit sales price of Series 100 from $2.45 to $2.25 would mean that the unit sales price would be below the total unit cost of $2.29. Furthermore, the contribution margin percentages show that this product line is clearly the most profitable (see Exhibit 2). This should mean substantial losses to the bottom line. However, Berkshire must take into account the forecasting for the entire period. If projections are sound then as Exhibit 3 shows, production of an additional 750,000 units at the current unit sales price would essentially cancel out the increase in

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